ANNE V. McARDLE OBTAINS SUMMARY DISPOSITION IN DECLARATORY ACTION SEEKING A DETERMINATION OF COVERAGE AND PRIORITY FOR PIP AND UM/UIM BENEFITS
Home-Owners Insurance Company and Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company v State Auto Insurance Company, Oakland County Circuit Court, Hon. Phyllis C. McMillen, case no. 2020-185113-CZ. Home-Owners and Wolverine provided automobile insurance coverage to their insureds, Mary and David Mourer. On August 21, 2020, at 3:30 p.m. the Mourer’s were operating a motorcycle, when they were involved in an accident with Colleen Cameron, who turned in front of their motorcycle. The Mourer’s were seriously injured. Colleen Cameron told police that her vehicle was insured with Progressive, but this turned out to be false, and the vehicle was not insured. Knowing that she was driving an uninsured vehicle, Ms. Cameron called her insurance agent, Magee Insurance, around 4:03 p.m. and she requested insurance on the subject vehicle. She did not disclose the prior occurring serious accident. Ms. Cameron was not specifically asked if she had been in any prior auto accidents, though, she was asked if there were any changes in her life since she was last insured, to which she said no, and State Auto issued a policy on payment of the premium. Home-Owners/Wolverine filed a motion for summary disposition, asserting that since the declaration page of the State Auto policy stated that coverage was effective as of 12:00 a.m., State Auto was bound by that policy language to provide primary PIP and UM/UIM benefits per MCL 500.3114(5). We filed a response and counter-motion on behalf of State Auto, arguing that per the precedent established in Auto-Owners v Mich Mut, 223 Mich App 205 (1997), and Auto-Owners v Johnson, 209 Mich App 61 (1995), if a policy did not exist when the accident happened, then, there is no coverage. We also argued that it did not matter whether there were innocent third-parties involved, because when the accident occurred, a policy did not exist. We also asserted that regardless of whether there was a contract of insurance with State Auto, that policy did not provide contractual UM/UIM benefits to the underlying plaintiffs herein, because they were not the insureds of State Auto, and MCL 500.3114(5) does not apply to UM/UIM. The trial court agreed and issued a written opinion granting our counter-motion and dismissing the case with prejudice.